Vacation Home Interior & Exterior Checklists

What Matters Most to Guests

Vacation Home Interior & Exterior Checklists

When it comes to what matters most in the interior of a vacation home, kitchens are at the top of the list! Vacationers want the ability to make their own meals and list it as a major factor in choosing a vacation home over any hotel or motel. In fact, 67% said they averaged two or three meals a day at their vacation rental, and only 8% admit to eating every meal out in area restaurants.

“In vacation rentals, kitchens get used frequently, so ease of access and updated features such as layered lighting on a dimmer make staying in a rental much more comfortable,” says design expert Kerrie Kelly, who writes about interior design for The Home Depot. “Updated appliances, a layout for entertaining, and easy-to-clean surfaces like quartz countertops are crucial.”

Vacationers are willing to pay extra for an upscale kitchen with stainless steel appliances, a dishwasher and kitchen accessories like a corkscrew! The finer details really do matter. Think about what would make you comfortable and what was lacking if you ever stayed in a vacation rental.

Beyond the kitchen, 30% of vacationers would like to have a fireplace, while 55% will pay extra for a washer and dryer on site. In the bathroom, vacationers often appreciate a relaxing environment. Turn your bathroom into a relaxing spa with a garden tub and a stand up shower and your renters will appreciate it more.


The majority of travelers (68%) said that one of their favorite activities while vacationing is relaxing outside. Another 42% identified access to a deck, yard or other external space on the property as a major feature they consider when choosing a vacation rental. The cooks among them, 66% in fact, enjoy cooking outdoors, that range from basic grilling to outdoor kitchens and fire pits, too.

“From personal experience, having ample entertaining amenities makes the experience that much better,” Kelly says. “Having an outdoor entertainment area with lounge chairs, an umbrella and an outdoor kitchen also allows guests to feel more relaxed and at home in the rental.”

When it comes to pools and hot tubs, 60% of travelers desire these features and are willing to pay for them. Other exterior features that matter are proximity to attractions (65%), an outdoor living space (42% that includes patio furniture (32%), and recreational equipment (32%).

Keep these checklists in mind when you’re thinking about renovating your vacation home for rental purposes. It boils down to this — the more you offer your vacationers the more they’re willing to pay. It’s just that simple.